View Poll Results: What do you think?

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  • I'm smarter than most Americans

    15 34.09%
  • I'm not smarter than most Americans

    1 2.27%
  • Most Americans don't have enough knowledge to justify their opinions

    25 56.82%
  • Most Americans do have enough knowledge

    3 6.82%
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Thread: The Majority of Americans Are...

  1. #31
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    The main purpose of my suggestions is to illustrate the difficulty of obtaining a non-partisan society, not to actually effect one. #1 isn't necessarily an option I would support. However, outlawing political parties is different from outlawing all political organization. Parties involve institutions and protocols that one man and his neighbors don't have.
    But political parties serve a necessary purpose: to help like-minded voters coalesce around specific candidates. If there are ten center-left candidates on the ballot who split 70% of the vote, and one center-right candidate who takes 30% of the vote, then the center-right candidate will win even though he may have been the last choice of the majority of voters. Political parties help to prevent this from happening, by holding primaries so that the voters can all rally behind an acceptable candidate, even if that candidate isn't everyone's first choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games
    No country is perfect. Countries with parliaments have an easier time dealing with political polarization though, as compromise is much easier to effect.

    I don't think it is a stretch to argue countries with parliaments have done better politically, especially in domestic politics, because it is easier to represent the many nuances in the spectrum of viewpoints. Economically and militarily, the United States enjoys advantages other nations don't have.

    The United States is actually worse than average at politics. No subtlety. But we are powerful and important enough we don't have to be particularly good to exert influence on world affairs.
    I agree. I think that in general, a parliamentary system works best. I've heard our presidential system described as "America's most dangerous export," because when developing countries try to implement it, they almost invariably descend into strongman politics, military coups, or civil war.

    With that said, the presidential system works well enough in the United States that I wouldn't want to mess with it.
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  2. #32
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    The main purpose of my suggestions is to illustrate the difficulty of obtaining a non-partisan society, not to actually effect one. #1 isn't necessarily an option I would support. However, outlawing political parties is different from outlawing all political organization. Parties involve institutions and protocols that one man and his neighbors don't have.
    At what point does a political organization become a party?



    No country is perfect. Countries with parliaments have an easier time dealing with political polarization though, as compromise is much easier to effect.

    I don't think it is a stretch to argue countries with parliaments have done better politically, especially in domestic politics, because it is easier to represent the many nuances in the spectrum of viewpoints. Economically and militarily, the United States enjoys advantages other nations don't have.

    The United States is actually worse than average at politics. No subtlety. But we are powerful and important enough we don't have to be particularly good to exert influence on world affairs.
    What nation has as their goal to be good politically? What does being good politically even mean?


    Probably the least totalitarian of my suggestions. This is a "change from within" sort of thing. Also the one least likely to work.
    You don't get a diverse group of people to think alike without coercion?

    .

  3. #33
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    I'm not smarter than most Americans. I may be more attuned to politics than most Americans, but most Americans probably have better sense on a vast majority of things than I do.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  4. #34
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    So the questions are do you think you're smarter than the average American in this broad context and do you think most Americans don't have the knowledge necessary to justify the certainty of their opinions.
    Regarding political issues I believe I am more politically informed than most Americans. Americans finding politics not that interesting does not mean they are stupid.Most of us who go to political forums are the equivalent to Trekie nerds or the sports junkies. There are some exceptions like we do not dress like or collect clothes of Rachael Madow,Glenn Beck, Steven Colbert,Jon Stewart,Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh or some other Political commentator or influential personality. Instead of Jerseys and action figures we read political science books, we might have vote for so and so signs and political buttons. Our nerd conventions would be the political rallies.Instead ball games we have local,state and federal elections be the elections and our Superbowl or world series would be the November elections once every few years.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  5. #35
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    With that said, the presidential system works well enough in the United States that I wouldn't want to mess with it.
    As third-world nations like Iran improve technologically and economically, you might change your mind. American success is based on our uncontested power in the world economy and military matters. When we had trouble in Vietnam, people could chalk it up to any number of happenstances that didn't necessarily imply the United States has limited ability to back up our assertions of strength. Our troubles in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq have displayed our most damaging weaknesses to the world. They know we can't actually engineer democratic societies, or keep our nation's borders safe, without great and lumbering difficulty. That reduces the threat we pose, which is one reason why North Korea and Iran are so bold.

    Not to say the United States isn't strong. We are still the most powerful nation in the world and, pending events I can't foresee, will retain that position for at least a couple more decades. Even after that, we will still be part of a plurality of strong nations and alliances.

    At a certain point, the United States needs to be good at politics.

    At what point does a political organization become a party?
    When it obtains the ability to punish dissenters and force conformity to a series of narrow, ideologically charged viewpoints -- aka, a platform.

    You don't get a diverse group of people to think alike without coercion?
    Generally, no. That's why it is the least likely. Also the morally superior route. Persuading people to improve on their political reasoning is better than legislating around their ignorance, but also less likely to work.

    What nation has as their goal to be good politically? What does being good politically even mean?
    Flexibility. A diverse repertoire of diplomatic and logistical skills. The United States military and economy are moderately flexible. Our governments are not. Generally, our foreign policy is based on the expectation of obedience and respect due to our military and economic strength. But you can't always expect obedience and respect.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 11-01-10 at 06:38 PM.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

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  6. #36
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    The Majority of Americans Are...

    ...waking up.

    Better late than never.

    .
    The Clintons are what happens...
    when you have NO MORAL COMPASS.

  7. #37
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    The majority of Americans are... fat.

  8. #38
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    ...


    When it obtains the ability to punish dissenters and force conformity to a series of narrow, ideologically charged viewpoints -- aka, a platform.
    If our mythical one dudette and her few neighbors agree to only allow those that agree with them to attend their meetings, they are now a political party. I think you might want to reconsider how you are going to decide who is just a member of a political organization and who you are going to send to prison.



    Generally, no. That's why it is the least likely. Also the morally superior route. Persuading people to improve on their political reasoning is better than legislating around their ignorance, but also less likely to work.
    So if someone disagrees with your political reasoning, it is because of their ignorance? Gotcha...

    Unless everyone starts out thinking the same, seems to me you have people holding partisan positions.



    ....
    .

  9. #39
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    I would further clarify by saying that I think that regular Americans are perhaps far more perceptive of the impact of legislation and governance on their daily lives than I am. Not just because of age or inexperience, but because I think there is a general competence in real-life impact. As far as the political process goes, yeah, they are probably not generally informed or come to bad conclusions, but I do not disagree that there is at least something to the notion of common sense governance.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  10. #40
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    Re: The Majority of Americans Are...

    If our mythical one dudette and her few neighbors agree to only allow those that agree with them to attend their meetings, they are now a political party. I think you might want to reconsider how you are going to decide who is just a member of a political organization and who you are going to send to prison.
    So defined. I don't consider such an organization to be a political party as we have them in the United States anymore than I consider a seed a plant.

    Political parties excel in popular governments. One might expect them to exist in a reduced form in the House of Representatives, but more as a loose coalition than a solid voting bloc; people are just too different across regions for groups like the Democratic and Republican Parties to plausibly represent their views. Are in the interests of New England conservatives fully in tune with their counter parts in the Bible Belt? In the original plan, the Senate is supposed to be filled by the state legislatures, the electoral college is supposed to exercise authority independent of the popular suggestion, and the courts are supposed to be far removed from politics. It results in an environment where careful deliberation enjoys greater authority than sentiment. The ability of national poltical parties to manipulate election outcomes in state's across the Union, through endorsements and funding and influence with the media, compromises regional interest in favor of a codified platform people can only partially agree with.

    So if someone disagrees with your political reasoning, it is because of their ignorance? Gotcha...

    Unless everyone starts out thinking the same, seems to me you have people holding partisan positions.
    Disagreement between two people implies one or both are ignorant. That's why people generally resent it when others disagree with them.

    I wouldn't expect people to have the same intepretations, but less attatchment to their conclusions would be a help. Partisanship is partisanship until, "My view is the right one," moves to, "My view is the right one no matter what."
    Last edited by Morality Games; 11-01-10 at 09:45 PM.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

    St. Benedict

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